SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Department of Justice will not appeal a court ruling that cleared baseball player Barry Bonds of obstruction of justice in a probe over steroids, effectively ending the long criminal prosecution of the sport‘s career home run leader.
The case involved testimony Bonds, 50, gave to a grand jury in 2003 about whether he used steroids to help him hit more long balls. The slugger was convicted on one obstruction charge in 2011, and the jury deadlocked on three perjury counts. His sentence of two years of probation and 30 days of home confinement was put on hold pending his appeal.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April said prosecutors did not provide enough evidence that his statements were material to their investigation, and that Bonds could not be retried for obstruction.
In a court filing on Tuesday, prosecutors said they would not try to litigate the case in the U.S. Supreme Court. However, Bonds‘ legal victory likely will not remove the tarnish attached to his on-the-field accomplishments.
Representatives for Bonds and the Justice Department could not immediately be reached for comment.
The steroids scandal sullied some of the biggest stars in baseball. Besides Bonds, other players widely suspected of doping – including Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa – have also been snubbed in Hall of Fame voting in recent years despite not failing drug tests.
Clemens was acquitted in 2012 on charges that he lied to Congress.
After seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bonds played for the San Francisco Giants from 1993 until he retired in 2007 as Major League Baseball‘s career home run leader with 762. He also holds the single-season record with 73 homers in 2001.